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is structurally sound. it's going to have to be tweaked the way it was by ronald reagan and democratic speaker tip o'neill. but the basic structure is sound. but i want to talk about the values behind social security and medicare. and then talk about medicare because that's the big driver of our deficits right now. my grandmother, some of you know, helped to raise me, and my grandparents did. my grandfather died a while back, my grandmother died three days before i was elected president. and she was fiercely independent. she worked her way up only had a high school education, start as a secretary, ended up being the vice president of a local bank. and she ended up living alone by choice and the reason she could be independent was because of social security and medicare. she had worked all her life, put in this money, and understood that there was a basic guarantee, a floor under which she could not go. and that's the perspective i bring when i think about what's called entitlements. you know, the name itself implies some sense of dependency on the part of these folks. these are folks who have work
contender worthy of the white house. it's happened before. john kennedy, ronald reagan, george w. bush, all bounced higher in the polls after credible debate performances and went on to win the white house. whatever the outcome, most agree it's the debates that will give us our best opportunity to evaluate these candidates, sort out their positions and separate truth from fiction. not a moment too soon. according to a new survey from the annenberg public policy center at the university of pennsylvania, with a little over a month to go before election day, the public has a lot to learn about the 2012 presidential race. among its findings, only 51% know the romney-ryan plan would preserve traditional medicare for those 55 and older and retain it as an option for those now younger than that. only about half knew that mitt romney would keep the bush tax cuts in place. fewer than half knew that romney and not obama had promised to increase defense spending. only 23% were aware that payroll taxes had decreased during obama's term in office. only slightly more than half knew that paul ryan is the
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